EL PASO, Texas – Gibbs Keeton has been named the fourth head coach in the history of the UTEP Soccer program, Vice President and Director of Athletics Jim Senter announced on Wednesday.
An El Paso native and Montwood High School graduate, Keeton joins the Miners from Texas Tech, where he served as Associate Head Coach for the last four years.
He has been a member of the Red Raider staff since 2009 and has coordinated recruiting efforts for the program since 2013. During his tenure in Lubbock, he helped orchestrate a turnaround from Big 12 bottom dweller to perennial NCAA Tournament contender.
“We are excited to bring Gibbs home to lead the UTEP Soccer program,” Senter said. “During the interview process, we were impressed with his coaching acumen, his recruiting ability, his energy, and his passion not only for the sport, but for his hometown. We are thrilled to usher in a new era of Miner Soccer and are confident that Gibbs is the man to take us to new heights.”
“I’m blessed to return to my hometown of El Paso — a city that has given me so much on and off the field,” Keeton said. “I see the opportunity to lead UTEP Soccer as a way to give back and invest in the 915. I’m grateful to Jim Senter and Daniel Garcia, who have chosen me to join their University and athletic department at such an exciting time. UTEP Soccer will rise up to meet and exceed the high expectations this great school, fanbase, and community have for this program. I’m ready to get right to work with this team.”
Texas Tech has finished in the top-five of the Big 12 standings nine times over the last 12 seasons, including tied for second (9-4-6 overall, 5-1-3 league) during the 2022 campaign. The Red Raiders also finished second in the Big 12 in 2013 (18-2-3, 6-0-2) and 2019 (15-4-3, 6-1-2). In 2015, Texas Tech made a run to the Big 12 Tournament championship as a 5 seed, defeating Kansas, 1-0, in the final.
The Red Raiders earned NCAA Tournament bids during the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019 seasons, posting a combined six victories in the event while reaching the “Sweet 16” in 2014.
Keeton coached 16 Red Raiders to the professional ranks during his time at Texas Tech, including current NWSL pros Janine Beckie (Portland Thorns/Canada WNT), Kirsten Davis (Racing Louisville), and Jaelene Daniels (NC Courage). Red Raiders playing abroad include Carly Wickenheiser (Sweden) and Brooke Denesik (Germany), who were part of the 2018 team that posted a nation-leading 14 shutouts and a conference-best 0.53 goals against average. Also abroad is Keeton-coached goalkeeper Victoria Esson (Scotland), who holds the Tech record for shutouts with 29 and has been capped four times by the New Zealand Women’s National Team.
In 2013, Texas Tech set a school record with 17 shutouts and a .739 shutout percentage that ranked second in the country. The Red Raiders were third in the NCAA in goals against average and sixth in save percentage that year.
Keeton was involved with all aspects of the daily operation of Texas Tech Soccer, including practice planning and implementation, opponent scouting, strength and conditioning and scheduling. As Director of Recruiting, he fostered relationships with major youth clubs in Albuquerque, Austin, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Omaha, Phoenix, San Antonio, Southern California and Tucson. He was also the soccer camp director at Texas Tech; through his efforts, the camp attendance grew by 15 percent annually.
He earned his B.S. in Exercise Sports Science from Texas Tech in 2007, and his M.S. in Health Exercise Sport Science in 2008. The Montwood grad played his collegiate soccer at Grand Canyon University and was a member of the Arizona Sahuaros of the Professional Development League prior to enrolling at Texas Tech.